Collins knows Mets must improve at home

Collins knows Mets must improve at home

Collins knows Mets must improve at home
NEW YORK -- A year after the Mets were an above-average team at home but couldn't seem to find consistent success on the road, the exact opposite has been true. As the Mets began a pivotal 10-game homestand Monday, they are 33-27 on the road, but just 22-26 at Citi Field.

"What I see us do at home is change our offensive approach," Mets manager Terry Collins. "I think we take bigger swings. ... I think we're trying to hit the ball harder. You look at our spray charts on the road, we hit the ball all over the place. At home, we pull more balls than we do on the road."

While that may be true, a closer look at the numbers reveals that the Mets have performed virtually the same at the plate at home as they have away, they might just be a little luckier on the road.

The Mets have scored 4.87 runs per game on the road and 4.15 per game at home, but their home on-base plus slugging percentage of .736 is actually eight points higher than that number on the road. If you are more the batting average type, the Mets are a mere six points better on the road than they are at home (.269 to .263), not nearly enough to make much of a difference.

Similarly, the team's batting average on balls in play (BAbip) at home (.310) is virtually identical to what it is away from home (.309). It appears the Mets might just be getting more timely hits on the road than they have at home.

The extra runs New York has scored on the road, lucky or otherwise, would appear to be the difference in its divergent records this season, as the team has given up fever runs per game at home (4.27) than it has on the road (4.43).

Either way, Collins knows his team needs to start performing better at home in the only statistic that truly matters -- wins. With three games against divisional foes Florida and NL Wild Card-leading Atlanta, the coming week will be a critical one for New York's playoff hopes, as it entered Monday's game 7 1/2 games behind the Braves.

"We've just got to make sure we go back and continue to play how we do on the road," Collins said. "Be aggressive on the bases and just put the ball in play -- take your chances here."